African Americans

Waves

In the opening moments of Waves, the camera spins euphorically as it follows a day in the life of 18-year-old Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr.). He goes to school, he works out, he hangs with his friends, and—most memorably in the opening shot—drives down the sunny Florida highway with his girlfriend hanging out of the car …

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Harriet

In the trailer for Harriet, there is a tease of a visually arresting climactic scene showing abolitionist Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo) cocking a rifle and firmly ordering, “Ready?” to the Union soldiers she is commandeering. On signal, hundreds of slaves flee from the woods toward them on the river, toward the ironclad warships that will …

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Detroit

I won’t be the first to tell you that director Kathryn Bigelow knows her way around filming extremely intense sequences. From her praised war films The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, she now turns her lens on a homeland war. An infamous incident during the race riots in Detroit in 1967 takes center stage …

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Moonlight (2016)

Taking place in a rough, drug-addled neighborhood in Miami, Moonlight introduces us to a character in three chapters. “Little” (Alex Hibbert) is a cripplingly shy kid who is relentlessly bullied at school, who can’t even find solace at home where he lives with his crack-addled mother (Naomie Harris). A surprising friend comes in the form …

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Fences

Denzel Washington takes the directorial reigns in the big screen adaptation of playwright August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning tale of an African-American couple in 1950s Pittsburgh. Denzel knows this story, and knows how to stock the film with top-notch actors. After all, both he and Viola Davis won Tony awards in the Broadway revival, so it …

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